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While you may associate broad axes with lopping heads off bodies thanks to popular horror flicks, the truth is that most people use axes for a wide variety of household and gardening tasks.
To get the best broad axe for your needs, you need to understand the features and functionality of the various axe types. Splitting axes are great for splitting wood but lack the control required for more delicate woodworking. If you're interested in woodworking, you need to look at broad axes.
Broad axes are usually one-bitted, which means they only have one head with a chopping-edge. Woodcarvers use them for hewing or shaping logs, since the sharp edge of the broad axe and the single handle offer plenty of control to create an artistic design.
If you're feeling lost as to which axe is the best for you, our broad axe reviews will give you an overview of the best axes on the market, while our buying guide will help you find the best one for your needs.
Broad Axe Reviews Chart
Here are three of the top broad axes and broad hatchets.
*Clicking on the links in the comparison chart above take you to individual product pages on Amazon.com
#1 RINALDI Hand Forged Broad Axe
The axe is made predominantly for felling, with a straight handle and large head. It weighs 5.1 pounds, which makes it easy to control even through rigorous woodworking sessions. The tomahawk-style slip handle makes replacing the handle easy whenever you have to.
Pros & Cons
#2 Biber Muller Broad Axe
This axe has a single bevel on the right-hand side, and the blade is flat on the left-hand side, which allows for more precise and smoother cuts. In general, a single-beveled axe is the best broad axe for experienced carvers who want more control. However, each woodworker will have a personal preference for whether they want a right-beveled or left-beveled axe.
Pros & Cons
#3 Muller Big Blue Broad Axe
The Big Blue Broad Axe benefits not only from history but also from modern technological developments in steel forging. The blade is razor-sharp and will remain so for decades to come, with some minimal intervention.
Mueller is so proud of their work that each axe comes with a lifetime warranty, but you may never need to use it.
Pros & Cons
#4 Bearded Broad Axe
If you want an axe that’s suitable for chopping and splitting wood as well as woodworking, this bearded axe may be the best broad axe for you.
Pros & Cons
#5 Council Tool Broad Axe
The head is attached to the handle using traditional methods that ensure that it is seated firmly. The wood near the eye section is dried to below 10% to prevent shrinking, which would lead to loosening. The axe also comes in an attractive leather sheath to keep it safe when not in use.
Pros & Cons
What to Look for in a Quality Broad Axe
The best way to find the right axe is to know what the job or function of that axe is. If you want to split logs, then you'll want to get the best splitting axe you can afford. But, if you want to carve wood into artistic, that type of blunt force approach won't work. You need a carpenter's axe instead.
However, if you are instead planning on shaping logs for a more industrial purpose, like hewing logs for the purpose of creating stackable logs to build a cabin, you most likely want a broad axe.
The most important part of this type of axe that you'll want to assure meets the standards of your task is the axe head. And, as the name suggests, the head of you axe needs to very very broad.
Most broad axes have a very flat head, making the job of hewing easier. They also tend to have a large cutting edge and a very deep beard.
One unique feature that many other axes don't have if the single bevel. That is, instead of the bit being grinding into a wedge-shaped bevel, one side of the head will be entirely flat while the other is ground into a cutting shape. This helps keep your cuts even and flat. Not all broad axes are single beveled however.
As this is a bit of a more specialized type of tool, you don't often see as many of the bigger name brands focusing their efforts or manufacturing or marketing them. That doesn't mean there aren't some high-quality tool and axe manufacturers making some great products though.
The good news is that since this is more of a specialty item, those companies that have decided to spend their resources on making them know what they're doing.
Here are a few of those companies:
- Council Tool
- Granfors Bruk
- Vaughan & Bushnell
You are sure to find other smaller manufacturers on your search as well, but these are some of the more well-known ones.
before you dive in and make a purchase, it's highly recommended to make sure you're getting the right tool for the job. If you are going to be spending your time only hewing large logs, a small broad hatchet is probably a very poor choice. You will want something more customized.
Additionally, while they look cool and have some very similar features, the traditional fighting broad axe is not going to help you much if you're doing some wood working. For example, the single-handed axe below made by Cold Steel is meant to be a reproduction of what the viking may have used in skirmishes.
It has some very similar features to the woodworking tools discussed above, like a long cutting surface and a deep beard. But, this is not something you want to get if you're in the market for a woodworking tool.
Referred to broadaxes, broad axes, or broad hatchets, this type of tool has a very specific purpose. It's not meant to split logs or fell trees. Instead, much like a carpenter's axe, which they can often be interchanged with, it's meant to be used as a woodworking tool.
You often don't need to break the bank to get a quality one, but if you're serious about the task in front of you, going more premium often means an easier time and as well as getting your hands on a product that will have a longer life span.
Regardless of which one you choose, we hope our broad axe reviews have been helpful and wish you the best of luck with your new project!